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Return to the Red Sea



Almost 8 years ago to the day I visited the Red Sea for the first time from Sharm El-Sheikh. I was a novice diver completing my Advanced Open Water course while also deciding I wanted to be an underwater photographer (Yes, I was trying to run before I could walk!). I was in awe of the colours underwater in the Red Sea and how beautifully clear the water was. It prompted me to return the following year in June 2014 for my first Red Sea liveaboard. The trip was a little bittersweet. Although the diving delivered some incredible encounters, I was left a little disappointed by my ability as a diver at the time. I’ve been eager to rectify with a return on a Southern Red Sea itinerary. After a 7 year hiatus I found myself back in the Red Sea on a southern route liveaboard.

The top deck of Scuba Scene provided a comfortable area to relax and catch the sun.

Scuba Scene liveaboard is the vessel I was lucky enough to join. After a 5 hour EasyJet flight from Luton organised as a package by the guys at Oyster Diving, it wasn’t long before I got my first glimpse of this incredible boat. I’m no Red Sea liveaboard expert by any stretch of the imagination, having only completed one previously and that was 7 years ago. However, it was the size of the boat that struck me initially. Certainly a lot bigger than my previous trip and from the general consensus on size you get from people when discussing Red Sea liveaboards. At 43m long and 9m wide, beautifully laid-out over 4 decks, she is certainly big enough to accommodate 26 guests onboard.

I arrived onto the boat from the stern, entering a spacious dive platform and then up some small stairs to my first glimpse of the dive deck. Again, a generous space allowing ample room for a full charter to kit up ready for a week of diving. Two benches of five cylinder spaces at the end of the deck with two benches of eight spaces back to back in the middle allowing for 26 dive guests. A small four space bench is set just to the side for the guides onboard. Before entering the dining salon from the dive deck there are also two camera tables either side with numerous shelves and charging points accommodating a large number of photography guests should they be onboard together. As it happened I was the only “photographer” onboard this trip and certainly enjoyed the extra space that afforded.

A spacious dive deck well equipped for 26 dive guests onboard.

Now was the time to settle in and check into my room. I was in one of the eight twin rooms on the lower deck and was extremely happy with the space of both the room and en-suite. That’s where I also got my first sign of the little attentions to detail that spoilt me throughout the week and really heightened the experience of life onboard Scuba Scene. A small Galaxy chocolate left on my pillow was a sign of things to come. While the chocolates continued throughout the week, it was the hot towel wrapped around my shoulders after every dive that was the gift I didn’t know I needed. Wow, heaven… especially during the cooler winter weather in Egypt. A hot chocolate in my hand after every night dive and a rehydration drink after every day dive added to my favourite small pleasure of the week – a towel poncho provided for each guest, I lived in mine for the whole week! Many thanks to Gad for always being there with the towel and drink; I definitely felt spoilt.

An extravagant fruit platter for breakfast was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of food.

Life onboard continued to be a pleasurable experience throughout the week. Dinnertime in particular was a surprise when compared to previous liveaboards I’ve done around the world. While breakfast and lunch were the typical buffet style I was used to (except one particular morning with an extravagant fruit platter adding a splash of colour to proceedings) it was dinner that left a lasting impression. A four course sit down set menu each night was served with a smile to the table and was always perfectly timed. Soup to start was always delicious, followed by a small cold dish before the main course that was always incredible. The beef and lamb were my favourites, so tender and succulent, cooked to perfection. A change of dessert each night really finished off the amazing meals.

Biologist Elke Bojanowski giving one of four shark presentations throughout the week.

Overall it was an incredible week onboard Scuba Scene with a crew that couldn’t do enough for you and were always on hand with a smile. There was plenty of comfortable space to relax between dives with three sundecks equipped with padded loungers and seats accompanied by bean bags for extra comfort. I spent a good few siestas on them, while soft drinks were readily available on the upper and top deck. The spacious salon was the perfect area to take a break from the heat or wind and was the scene for Red Sea shark specialist Elke Bojanowski’s informative shark presentations. There were four presentations in total and each provided great information on sharks and, in particular, the sharks of the Red Sea. A shark week trip should be the trip of choice for any shark lover.

I’m guessing by now you’re wondering how the diving delivered as that’s what we’re here for right? Well I can certainly say it delivered in abundance, so please keep an eye out for the next blog instalment tomorrow highlighting the diving for the week.

I’m certainly looking forward to the day I can return!

A typical sunset out in the Red Sea.

Sean Chinn travelled as a guest of Scuba Scene Liveaboard and Oyster Diving. Scuba Scene is available to book exclusively through Oyster Diving. Please contact or call 0808 253 3370 to find out more or reserve your space!

Sean Chinn’s scuba diving adventure started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his diving and underwater photography adventure which has become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.


Midlands Diving Chamber donates £20k to Bite-Back



Hyperbaric and dive medical experts, Midlands Diving Chamber (MDC), has underpinned its long-term support of Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation with a one-off donation of £20,000, as the Rugby-based diving doctors wind down the charitable side of its operation.

The donation represents the single biggest financial contribution made to Bite-Back, delivering a huge boost to its campaigns to end the UK trade in shark products.

Spokesperson for Midlands Diving Chamber, Sally Cartwright, said: “For years we’ve admired and supported the ground-breaking work that Bite-Back is doing to save, protect and celebrate sharks. It’s a genuine pleasure to help ensure it stays at the forefront of shark conservation in the UK.”

Midland Diving Chamber first supported the charity at the inaugural Bite-Back at Cancer event in 2007 and then annually for the next six years. It even hosted its own James Bond-themed party on the Thames to fundraise for the marine NGO.

Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said: “We can’t thank MDC enough for its continued support and now for this massive contribution to our pioneering shark conservation campaigns. It makes us very proud that the country’s premier diving medical experts have chosen to back our campaigns that extend from parliament to primary schools. This financial windfall will allow us to continue to lead the shark conservation agenda in the UK and deliver measurable shark conservation breakthroughs to keep the oceans healthy.”

Bite-Back’s No Fin To Declare campaign to end the UK’s import and export of shark fins is now just months away from achieving Royal Ascent into law and, earlier this month it launched a free 56-page teaching resource for Key Stage 2 & 3 students on the importance of sharks and the threats they face.

Midlands Diving Chamber is based at St. Cross Hospital in Rugby and operates a hyperbaric decompression chamber offering NHS funded recompression to divers with Decompression Illness (DCI) together with other Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatments. Any diver with medical concerns should contact MDC on either 01788 579 555 or 07931 472 602.

Find out more about Bite-Back at

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Marine Life & Conservation

Watch The Real Watergate from Live Ocean Foundation (Trailer)



Sailors Peter Burling and Blair Tuke established Live Ocean Foundation out of their deep concern for health of the ocean and the life in it. Through their sport they champion action for the ocean, taking this message to the world.

Many of the issues the ocean faces are out of sight, but the science is clear, the ocean is in crises from multiple stressors; climate change, pollution and over-fishing. We’re not moving fast enough, not even close.

Live Ocean Foundation supports exceptional marine scientists, innovators and communicators who play a vital role in the fight for a healthy future.

Thanks to generous core donors who cover their operating costs, 100% of public donations go directly towards the marine conservation projects they support.

Find out more at


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Brothers, Daedalus, Elphinstone, Rocky Island, Zabargad, St Johns, Fury Shoals, Ras Banus and much much more! 14 nights on board Big Blue - and you can clock up 40+ dives on this trip! For more information call us on 0203 515 9955 or check out the e-brochure here: More Less

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